Champions League playoff results: Malaga claims convincing victory, as Braga and Udinese share spoils

The Portuguese side was held to a 1-1 draw by the Zebrette, as Cypriot side AEL claimed a shock victory over Anderlecht. Elsewhere, there were wins for Dinamo Zagreb and BATE.

Champions League

Playoff Results


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AEL claimed a shock 2-1 victory over Belgian giants Anderlecht in an intriguing playoff first leg encounter at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

Guillaume Gillet wasted the first chance of note after a quarter of an hour, despite good work by former Liverpool striker Milan Jovanovic. Seconds later, the hosts were denied, after Edmar's shot was well blocked by Anderlecht's Silvio Proto.

With the Cypriot side aiming to emulate the heroics of APOEL Nicosia last season, it would be no surprise that a shock result may be on the cards. And that turned out to be the case after 34 minutes when Luciano Bebe's inswinging cross was met by the head of Dosa Junior, who directed the ball past the Belgian 'keeper.

The equalizer indeed, did come in the second half - through a moment of quality. Kanu waltzed his way past a number of tackles before threading a pass towards Dieudonné Mbokani, who flicked up the ball before firing past the goalkeeper.

AEL retook the lead ten minutes. Edmar negotiated his way past the back four, laying off Rui Miguel whose angled shot hit the post and slowly creeped past the goalkeeper, despite the save.

Anderlecht's hopes of an equalizer were soon dented after Jovanovic was sent off for a second yellow as the hosts held on for victory, ahead of the second leg at Constant Vanden Stock next week.

BATE Borisov claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over Israeli outfit Ironi Kiryat Shmona at the Dinamo Stadium in Minsk.

The Israelis, who are participating in only their second European competition, and their first in the Champions League, appeared to be immediately on the back foot with Aliaksandr Hleb forcing Daniel Amos into save.

Dmitri Mozolevski spurned a good chance for the Belarusians, with Laszlo Lencse attempting a weak shot which proved comfortable enough for Andrei Gorbunov.

However, BATE's dominance wasn't to go unrewarded as Vitali Rodionov latched onto Mozolevski's pass to fire low into the bottom corner to hand the hosts a first-half lead.

The Israelis couldn't provide much of a threat attacking-wise, and were disadvantaged with a red card in the second period with the dismissal of Dušan Matovic for a second bookable offense.

BATE's second was inevitable, with Aleksandr Volodko opening up the defense with a straight through ball down the middle, as Rodionov claimed his second goal with a deft finish off the woodwork.


Malaga moved closer to the Champions League group stage with a superb 2-0 victory over Greek side Panathinaikos at a fervent La Rosaleda.

The hosts dominated from the off, with Joaquin and Eliseu dictating the early phases of play amidst a delirious atmosphere inside the ground.

It would be Los Boquerones who would surge ahead with 17 minutes on the clock. Joaquin's free-kick was helped on by Wellgton, leaving Martin Demichelis to provide the decisive touch and fire in from close range.

The visitors were unable to deal with the Spaniards, and were duly punished with a second setback after 34 minutes. A slick one-two involving Enzo Maresca and Isco saw the latter pick out Eliseu, who wrong-footed the goalkeeper with a crisp volley for 2-0.

The tie could've been wrapped up in the opening minutes of the second half with the impressive Isco curling a finish inches wide of the post, despite having men on both flanks. 16-year-old striker Fabrice almost flicked an effort into the net after clipping a Jesus Gamez cross into the side netting, much to the relief of the Greek side.

Isco again proved too much for the likes of José Manuel Velazquez and Vitolo, though again proved too profligate to put the match out of reach.
Dinamo Zagreb took control of this playoff tie with a slender advantage, prevailing 2-1 against NK Maribor at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb.

The hosts took the lead after just ten minutes, in slightly fortuitous circumstances. An audacious long-range effort from Sammir deflected kindly into the path off Domagoj Vida. The right back, in space delivered a low cross which was turned in duly by Duje Cop.

Ante Cacic's men had further chances in the first half to extend their advantage, with Cop and Jerko Leko spurning opportunities to beat Jasmin Handanovič in the Maribor goal.

However, the Slovenian side, who are looking to progress to the group stage for the first time since beating Olympique Lyonnais at this stage in 1999, found themselves level before the end of the half.

A Goran Cvijanovic free kick was unfortunately turned in by Dinamo captain Milan Badelj, past an unsuspecting Ivan Kelava to hand Darko Milanic's side the away goal advantage.

Nevertheless, the skipper redeemed himself in the second period, giving the hosts the lead. Cop's weighted pass found Badelj who burst past his marker to fire past Handanovic.

The tie of the round failed to disappoint as Braga was held to a 1-1 draw by Serie A side Udinese at the AXA Stadium.

After a competitive start in Portugal, it would be the hosts who would carve out the better openings in the first half. Paulo Vinicius brought out a smart stop from Zeljiko Brkic, as the Italians stepped up the ante, with Hugo Viana curling an unsuccessful attempt later through the period.

The deadlock was broken midway through the first half. Antonio Di Natale's pin-point free-kick met the head of Dusan Basta, who powerfully headed past Beto to hand the Zebrette, a priceless away goal.

Jose Peseiro's side continued to test Francesco Guidolin's men, with left back Ismaily inching his attempt just wide of Brkic's goal.

The hosts equalised in the 68th minute, with the leveller proving to be worth the wait. Ismaily picked up the ball from distance, before unleashing a 30 yard stunner in off the crossbar to restore parity.

Ruben Micael had an instant impact off the bench for the hosts, though his effort was well saved by Brkic, with Braga now required to score in the return leg at Friuli next Tuesday.